Local Politics

Apex, Cary residents unify against fuel tank plan

Posted November 18, 2010 4:55 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2010 7:56 a.m. EST

— For Wake County residents along Ten-Ten Road, the memory of a chemical fire and explosion an Apex hazardous waste plant in 2006 is fresh enough to create worries about a planned expansion at Motiva Enterprises.

Tankers that supply gas stations with fuel get their load from Motiva. About 75 trucks a day fill up from the gasoline stored in six large, white tanks at the property.

A plan to build an additional, even larger tank as met with opposition from neighbors.

Karin Evanoff, a resident of the Southchase subdivision across Ten-Ten Road from Motiva, said, "To have such a site close to Ten-Ten Road is a very frightening thought.

"Knowing they're wanting to do this, right across the street from a huge neighborhood, half mile from two schools, is just simply incompatible," said Evanoff. "I don't know how many of us would be left if that thing blew."

Eddie Wilson, manager of Fast Lube Plus next door to Motiva, said the expansion and added traffic could put the brakes on his business.

"I don't think as many customers would want to be coming in here with tanker trucks being out front," he said.

The group, called "No T(h)anks on 1010," is made up of residents of both Apex, where Motiva is located, and nearby Cary. They have collected 200 signatures on a petition, and they hope that Apex town leaders, who will make the determination on the site, will hear all of their concerns. A public hearing on the plan could be held as soon as January.

Following the October 2006 fire at the Environmental Quality Industrial Services plant, which forced half of the town to evacuate their homes, Apex officials blocked the company from reopening in town.

Marti Fowler, a Motiva spokeswoman, pointed out that the plant had been at the Wake County location for more than 50 years and has a great safety record. She added that Motiva will continue to be open to listening to neighbors' concerns.